It is funny how you can go through the first 50 years of your life and not realize how fucked up things are. Mostly today I am referring to expectations, and especially with expectations, I have placed on myself.
The last couple of weeks or so I realized that most of my life is based on expectations of what I do when I do it and how I do it. The sad part is most of these expectations were not given to me by others in my current life, the expectations started when I was young that were explicit, implicit, and self-made that no one made on me.
I grew up with the expectations to support my family when I was 15. I gave my full paychecks up to my family and sometimes that was the only reason we had food or a place to stay.
Along with that, I grew up in a very toxic masculinity type of environment (1% MC and Vietnam Veterans), Somehow in all that, I had adopted the whole idea and expectation to take care of everyone else around me and do things for them without thinking about myself.
That includes taking my friends out to eat and paying for the whole bill. Refusing when other people offer to pay. The fact that I would give 100% of any effort to a friend, or even an acquaintance if they looked like they needed it (they didn’t even have to actually ask for it).
Sadly I know this probably even comes off as patronizing to some people, my assumption they need to be taken care of isn’t just a habit obtained for martyrdom, it does take away from the agency of others and I realize that as well.
So I decided last week to start removing my own self-placed expectations. I am not going to let myself feel obligated to pick up and drop off people, pay for their food (if they ask of course I will consider it), I will definitely not ride in other people’s cars nor be a taxi when they have one. There are two big things though that were weird to decide not to put before me.
The first is group roleplaying games. For decades I worried about my friends and the gaming group’s opinion of me. I would spend literally 20-40 hours working a week on that game, and I had a whole slew of gamers just sort of blow off the game, or blow off the work I did. I found that I don’t think they deserve that focus. Now I will work on the games when I want, run them for who I want and focus on the story I want to tell (that I want their help to work together of course). I wonder how that is going to work out.
The other expectation on me is my youtube channels. I love doing youtube, I love my Things You Should Know channel and its history (with other bits of stuff). I love my two Video Game LP channels (one for military games, one for everything else). What I found I hated was this self-expectation that I have multiple videos a week going out.
I love making videos, but I would stress if I got behind, or if I saw there might be a dead time. This isn’t ever going to be a “Youtuber” set of channels. I don’t promote myself, I play and record what I want. However I decided I don’t have to abide by two videos a week on TYSK if I don’t have time, and I definitely don’t have to abide by daily videos on my video game channels. My thought in going forward is to just put up what I want, when I want. If it ever picked up I would consider making it more of a job that way, but for now, I think I am going to cool down and just do what I like.
It is weird to say that, just do what I like. I know I am still going to beat myself up for it, but fuck it, I think I am going to do what I want to do. Everyone else can fuck right off.
I guess that is my rant for hte morning, we will see how it pans out. 😉